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Posted: November 29, 2018

Ric Ocasek of The Cars talks about his Atlanta abstract art presentation

Ric Ocasek

Kaedy and the AJC’s Melissa Ruggieri spoke with the Cars founder Ric Ocasek about his Atlanta art presentation at the Wentworth Gallery at Phipps Plaza from 6-8pm this Saturday, December 1, 2018. Click here to RSVP

Hear Ric talk with the girls about his artwork, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year with the Cars and his starting the band with the late Benjamin Orr back in the ‘70s in Boston.

“Art is a way to release tension and to organize my thoughts. It’s something I do while pondering an outcome. The drawings start with a shape and explode from there.” Ric Ocasek

Artwork at Wentworth Gallery is available for acquisition and all appearances are open to the public. Ric Ocasek will make a special appearance Saturday, December 1st, 2018 from 6-8 p.m., and admission for all registered guests is complimentary. RSVP’s are strongly suggested.

“The process of drawing is the same as writing a song. They both start with a blank page.” Ric Ocasek

Ric Ocasek is an artist, musician and writer, perhaps best known as guitarist and songwriter for The Cars and music producer for bands such as No Doubt, Nada Surf, Weezer, Suicide and Bad Brains.

Ocasek has been creating art since his youth and unwinds by making abstract drawings, spending much of his time creating pen and pencil drawings, photo collages, and mixed media paintings. “I’ve been drawing for most of my life. It’s like thinking on paper,” he says. For Ocasek, music and art go hand in hand, considering his art as a kind of visual music, produced through a similar creative process. He says, “The process of drawing is the same as writing a song. They both start with a blank page.”

Like music, Ocasek’s artwork encompasses elements of rhythm, harmony and dynamics. He creates art as an escape, each piece emerging as a “transient daydream” or diversion as he works in his studio, passes time on airplanes or simply sits in a quiet spot. Self-described as colorful, abstract and unconscious, the artwork is an extension of himself—a collection of “self-portraits.” 

“I do canvases with acrylics, but my main medium is drawing on paper, mostly with colored markers,” says Ocasek. “Art is a way to release tension and to organize my thoughts. It’s something I do while pondering an outcome. The drawings start with a shape and explode from there.”

Ocasek likes all kinds of art, but is particularly attracted to Pop Art, and has a deep passion for taking photographs. Like the music of his beloved rock band The Cars, his drawings are unabashedly pop—and yet unlike his music’s super sleek veneer, these works are a bit more raw and unedited, revealing meditative moments of a Zen-like drawing practice. Ocasek’s spontaneous, rhythmic mark-making is completely musical and explores repetition and patterns with psychedelic colors and sinuous lines. 

As for Ocasek’s own role in the art world, he says, “I’d make work, whether I showed it or not. I see art everywhere; it doesn’t have to be a museum or a gallery. Art is a frame of mind.”


Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits among 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland has announced the class of 2018.

>> Read more trending news

The list is comprised of five artists or bands in the Performer Category and one performer for the Early Influence Award.

Going into the Hall of Fame as performers next year are: 

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi started in the early ‘80s in New Jersey and had hits like “You Give Love A Bad Name” and Livin’ On a Prayer.” They’ve had over 120 million albums sold and performed 2,600 concerts all over the world.

The band was made up of David Bryn, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Alec John Such and Tico Torres.

The Cars

The Cars were founded in 1976 by Ric Ocasek as part of the New Wave sound. they combined ‘60s pop, ‘70s glam and brought it into the ‘80s. The Cars had 13 Top 40 singles from six studio albums. Co-founder Benjamin Orr died in 2000, but the surviving members released an album, “Move Like This” in 2011.

The band was made up of Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes, David Robinson, Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr.

Dire Straits

Dire Straits had their first hit single in 1978 with “Sultans Of Swing.” Then they rode the music video wave with the fledgling MTV channel with their hit “Money For Nothing”

The band was made up of Alan Clark, Guy Fletcher, John Illsley, David Knopfler, Mark Knopfler and Pick Withers.

The Moody Blues

The Moody Blues was founded in 1964 as an R&B-based rock band. Known for the hit “Nights In White Satin,” the song is from one of the first progressive rock albums, according the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Moody Blues are said to have influenced bands like Yes and Genesis.

The band was made up of Graeme Edge, Justin Hayward, John Lodge, Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas.

Nina Simone

Mary J. Blige said that inductee Nina Simone, who started singing in 1964, could sing anything. Simone considered herself a folk singer, but she didn’t perform just that genre. She sung Israeli folk songs, songs from the Bee Gees, music by Leonard Cohen and even compositions by George Harrison. She also sang Spirituals and children’s songs.

Simone has been honored by Lauryn Hill, sampled by Kanye West and covered by George Michael and Whitney Houston.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

The Award for Early influence will be given to Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Tharpe, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, “is one of the essential figures in the history of rock and roll.” She is said to have been an inspiration for Elvis, Little Richard, Johhny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.

She hit the stage in 1938 with her song “Rock Me” and continued her career through the ‘40s and ‘50s. In 1947, she gave Little Richard his break at the age of 14. In the ‘60s, her career in the U.S. had waned and she moved to England, playing for blues fans in London and Liverpool.

Artists have to wait 25 years after their first album or single is released before they can be considered for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rolling Stone reported.

Bon Jovi, The Cars and The Moody Blues could reunite with former members for the induction concert. Nina Simone passed away in 2003. Sister Rosetta Tharpe passed away in 1973. Dire Straits has been silent as to whether they will take the stage together, Rolling Stone reported

The ceremony is scheduled for April 14, 2018 in Cleveland. Information on ticket sales will be released in January.

This Day in Rock History: March 23

Happy birthday Ric Ocasek! We hope you get just what you needed.

The Cars Stream “new” Track

Kevin Winter/WireImage

The Cars Stream “new” Track

Bands often record more tracks than they actually release on an album. What happens to that music? Sometimes it’s lost forever, sometimes it makes it to another record. The Cars recently reissued their classic album Candy O and it contained a new song.


The Cars' Ric Ocasek 'Peacefully Separated' From Wife Last Year

The Cars frontman Ric Ocasek “peacefully separated” from his wife Paulina Porizkova last year, she revealed in a new social media message.

Continue reading…

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announces nominees for Rock Hall 2019 induction

What musicians will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of fame this year? The list of 15 nominees is out and you can help choose who will get the honor.

The list includes: 

  • Def Leppard
  • Devo
  • Janet Jackson
  • John Prine
  • Kraftwerk
  • LL Cool J
  • MC5
  • Radiohead
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • Roxy Music
  • Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
  • Stevie Nicks
  • The Cure
  • The Zombies
  • Todd Rundgren

The induction ceremony will be held March 29, 2019, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Billboard reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The Class of 2019 will be chosen by a group of 1,000 international voting members, but fans can help decide who will join the Rock Hall. You can cast your vote each day until the Dec. 9 deadline by clicking here. You will have to log in to vote. 

The top five artists to get the fans votes will be tallied along with the official ballots, Billboard reported.

Tickets for the induction ceremony go on sale in January.

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